By Dominique Jando
Born on December 8, 1951 in Russia, Vladimir Aleksandroich Garamov trained as an aerial gymnast at Moscow’s State College for Circus and Variety Arts (better known as Moscow Circus School), and graduated in 1970. He made his professional debut as a flyer with Nikolai Sukhov’s legendary flying act, Galaktika—the first flying act that used a combination of traditional flying trapeze, Russian swing and upright catcher, a presentation that later inspired the Korean flying acts.
Vladimir Garamov created his own flying group in 1981. They performed an extremely innovative act that became an immediate sensation, combining flying trapeze and aerial horizontal bars. Beside Vladimir, the original troupe included Aleksandr Savulev, Denis Gamarov (Vladimir’s son), Galina Gamarova (Vladimir’s wife), Boris Degtiarev, Viktor Zorin, Igor Shielkov, Ruslan Yakovlev, and one of the first female triple-somersaulters, Margarita Egorova, who also became the first woman to complete a quadruple somersault to the hand of the catcher on the flying trapeze.
In 1995, Vladimir Garamov's act was redesigned by Russia's legendary circus director, Vladimir Gneushev, and began to include the spectacular flights that made it so unique. The new Garamov Troupe has toured extensively in Europe and Asia with the Moscow Circus, and was featured in Japan in Bunichiro Matsumoto’s Musical Circus, conceived by Valentin Gneushev. The troupe also participated in the International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo in 1998.
In 2004, and the Garamov Troupe received the Gold Elephant at the 3rd International Youth Circus Festival of Moscow. The following year, when the troupe first appeared in the United States in the Big Apple Circus production of Grandma Goes To Hollywood, it included Denis Garamov and Masha Garamova, Vladimir’s children; Nikita Pavlov; Stanislav Bogdanov; Pavel Kuzmin; and Evgeny Turkin. In 2008, The Garamov Troupe won a Silver Medal at the 29th Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris.
In 1994, Vladimir Garamov was made National Artist of the Russian Federation.
- Video: The Garamov Troupe, Flying Act, in the Big Apple Circus production of Grandma Goes To Hollywood (2005)